Controversial fracking gas drilling will go ahead and must be transparently planned, according to a countryside group.
The Lancashire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England addressed Preston Council on the controversial energy process, warning that they believe it will go ahead “irrespective of whether we like it or not”.
Councillors were told that the group did not oppose shale gas extraction, but were demanding environmental regulation and mitigation of the effects.
Jackie Copley, planning manager for the Lancashire branch of the CPRE, said: “Irrespective of whether we like it or not, shale gas extraction is going to happen.
“We ought to achieve the best outcome for local communities affected, for minimisation of impacts to the landscape and the environment.”
Ms Copley told the Environmental Scrutiny Panel that the group believes the countryside is “beautiful, irreplaceable and finite.”
She told the meeting that the group’s policies considered climate change, transparent planning, environmental regulation, and also environmental impact mitigation.
She said: “Getting clean water to sites and taking dirty water away takes massive HGV transportation, and when each well is re-fracked you have to transport huge amounts each time. We believe that proper regulation and mitigation is vital.”
She added: “CPRE is all about a living, working countryside. We are not an organisation that says no, we are an organisation that says that, with transparent planning and organisation, we will be OK with fracking so long as, in the long term, the energy in this country goes the right way.”